How to make a DIY Robot

Improve your toddler’s fine motor skills with this DIY Robot. It’s a versatile fine motor activities box, that’s easy to make, and costs around $2. Moreover, for everyone between 12 and 36 months is a great pal to play with. To see what fine motor activities can you do with the DIY robot, click here.

DIY Robot - 12m+ Fine Motor Activities Box for Toddlers
DIY Robot – 12m+ Fine Motor Activities Box for Toddlers

Like Dr. Montessori once said, “The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” And those two perfect tools are what we want to train with our DIY robot.

But first things first:

What Are Fine Motor Skills?

Here is one short, but clear fine motor skills definition:

FMS are achieved when children learn to use their smaller muscles, like muscles in the hands, fingers, and wrists.

Study.com

However, I need always some time to realize definitions. So here are 15 good fine motor skills examples to get a better picture of what are fine motor skills exactly and how important they are:

  1. Writing
  2. Typing
  3. Drawing
  4. Playing a musical instrument
  5. Turning pages
  6. Holding small items
  7. Brushing your teeth, hair
  8. Washing your hands with soap
  9. Buttoning & zipping
  10. Lacing shoes
  11. Eating
  12. Cooking
  13. Cutting
  14. Opening and closing bottles and containers with caps & lids
  15. Opening and closing doors, locks etc. with keys

Huh. Okay. Well, I think it’s pretty clear, that this is dexterity. And all these things are essential for everyone every day, if not every minute of our lives. We take them as given, not even as skills that we have developed a long long time ago.

Thus, mastery of dexterity requires not only precision and coordination but also a great amount of concentration and practice. So here is where our DIY robot comes into action. With your toddler of course.

HOW-TO

Fine Motor Activities DIY Robot
Yield: 1

DIY Robot

Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 9 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Estimated Cost: $1

DIY Robot from a small, used cardboard box, plastic bottlenecks and screws, a blackboard/ chalkboard sticker, magnetic pompons and crayons

Materials

  • 1 small cardboard box with opening or window (I used here one cardboard box from a 6 pack glasses from Ikea)
  • 3 bottlenecks with screws cut out from plastic bottles
  • Chalkboard sticker enough to cover the cardboard box
  • Optional: small magnetic board with 6 pom-poms
  • Small LED flashlight

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Crayons

Instructions

  1. Get your materials and tools together
  2. Measure, cut and cover the cardboard box with the chalkboard sticker from all sides.
  3. Place the cutout plastic bottlenecks where you want to have them and mark the spots to be cut out. I chose, for example, two bottlenecks for robot eyes and one bottleneck as a receiver. Later, those three bottlenecks transform at the same time to car wheels and a sirene of the car
  4. Cut out the cardboard at the marked spots and push the bottlenecks through the cutouts.
  5. Draw with a white crayon the robot's mouth and face, and with a black crayon the eyes on the plastic lids of the bottlenecks. He must look hungry! For the face design, I chose a car, because of our boy's obsession with cars DIY Robot.
  6. Now draw on the sides white lines for the road.
  7. For the backside, you have two options. Either you leave it empty, so your little one can draw shapes with chalk or crayons.
  8. Or, you add a magnetic board for more fun toddler activities. I had a small metal board with 6 magnetic pompoms, that I stuck to the back of the DIY robot. Just cut out four lines of the chalkboard sticker and stick the metal board to the back.
  9. That's it!
  10. To turn it into a lamp, just put inside a small LED flashlight like this one.
  11. If you want to change the eye color of the robot and respectively the lamp color, just use caps of other colors.

OUR PLAY WITH THE DIY ROBOT

Well, this is our robot Nr. 3. The first ones survived around 5-6 months before their cardboard shell gave up after several surgeries. Playing and practice with the robot is different depending on the age of the child.

In the first days of its life, our 3rd robot was very hungry. Aiden fed him constantly throughout the day. Note, that this robot eats not only with its mouth but also with its eyes and antenna.

Thus far, our robot ate so many cars, straws, pencils, crayons, pompons, cookies, and many other small objects, that every day, he needed surgery to get those out. One by one, with the precision of a surgeon, Aiden took all small objects through its mouth or eyes.

Additionally, besides feeding and drawing, the pompoms magnetic board is a highlight.

Summarizing, our robot had some serious makeovers, ate a lot and turned from time to time into a lamp.

As you can see, it is one really versatile fine motor activity box, that’s easy to make and costs nothing but 15 minutes of your time.

WHAT FINE MOTOR ACTIVITIES CAN YOU DO WITH THE DIY ROBOT?

What else besides drawing, screwing bottle caps, feeding the robot, can you do with this fine motor activity box.

We share our favorite fine motor activities with our new environmental friendly pal.

Happy Playing!

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